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Kyushu League
What a disastrous weekend it proved to be for 2006 champions V Varen Nagasaki in the Kyushu League. In their own fixture, they went down to a sensational 1-0 defeat at Okinawa Kariyushi - bringing to an end an unbeaten league record that stretched back to 2005 - but their closest rivals made good gains upon them. Indeed, top of the table now are Nippon Steel Oita, who took two points from the penalty shoot-out following their draw at Volca Kagoshima. Level on points with V Varen now are Honda Lock, 3-0 winners over Osumi NIFS United, and the ex-JFLers even have a game in hand over the beleaguered Nagasaki.

But the middle of the division is also very tight. Volca's draw with Nippon Steel was a decent result under the circumstances, and kept them in fifth place on goal difference, but Kumamoto Teachers and Kaiho Bank SC both picked up their second wins of the year - against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki and wooden spooners Nanakuma Tombies respectively - to improve considerably their own chances of avoiding a relegation battle.

29 Apr 07 - Mitsubishi Nagasaki on the way to defeat at Kumamoto Teachers

Mitsubishi Nagasaki on the way to defeat at Kumamoto Teachers

Sun 29 Apr: Kaiho Bank SC 2-1 Nanakuma Tombies
Sun 29 Apr: Kumamoto Teachers 3-2 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki
Sun 29 Apr: Osumi NIFS United 0-3 Honda Lock
Sun 29 Apr: Okinawa Kariyushi 1-0 V Varen Nagasaki
Sun 29 Apr: Volca Kagoshima 1-1 Nippon Steel Oita (PK 1-4)

1. Nippon Steel Oita 17 (+13)
2. V Varen Nagasaki 15 (+27)
3. Honda Lock 15 (+22)
4. New Wave Kitakyushu 12 (+9)
5. Volca Kagoshima 6 (+3)
7. Okinawa Kariyushi 6 (-2)
8. Kumamoto Teachers 6 (-9)
9. = Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 6 (-13)
9. = Kaiho Bank SC 6 (-13)
10. Osumi NIFS United 1 (-16)
11. Nanakuma Tombies 0 (-21)

22 Apr 07 - Okinawa Kariyushi in orange pull off a shock against V Varen

Okinawa Kariyushi in orange pull off a shock against V Varen
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Kanto League Division 2
Three games into the Kanto League Division two season and already favourites Furukawa Electrics Chiba are four points in front of the chasing pack. The team have made the most of their connections with JEF Reserves to boost their squad and kept their 100% record on Sunday with a 4-3 win over Yonoshukai.

In second now are relegated Saitama side Hanno Bruder, but they only drew 1-1 with Ome FC, while the other club to come down from Division 1 - MSDF Atsugi Marcus - gained their first win of the season at the expense of Kanagawa Teachers. The result of the day, however, was undoubtedly Club Dragons' 9-0 thrashing of shock strugglers Nirasaki Astros.

Sun 29 Apr: Club Dragons 9-0 Nirasaki Astros
Sun 29 Apr: Furukawa Electrics Chiba 4-3 Yonoshukai
Sun 29 Apr: Hanno Bruder 1-1 Ome FC
Sun 29 Apr: MSDF Atsugi Marcus 2-0 Kanagawa Teachers

1. Furukawa Electrics Chiba 9 (+3)
2. Hanno Bruder 5 (+1)
3. Club Dragons 4 (+8)
4. Ome FC 4 (+1)
5. MSDF Atsugi Marcus 4 (+1)
6. Yonoshukai 4 (-)
7. Kanagawa Teachers 1 (-3)
8. Nirasaki Astros 1 (-11)
Kanto League Division 1
Promoted into Division 1 of the Kanto League only at the end of last season, FC Machida Zelvia and Hitachi Tochigi Uva have wasted little time in demonstrating the weak level of the region's football. The pair occupy the top two positions in the league after three rounds of the 2007 campaign, with Tokyo-based Machida confirming their new superiority thanks to a 5-1 drubbing of Saitama SC.

Hitachi meanwhile thrashed their Tochigi neighbours Yaita SC 6-0 to second on goal difference. Level with them on points are Toho Titanium, 2-1 winners at 2006 champions YSCC; and Luminozo Sayama, who pipped Toshiba Fuchu with the only goal of the game. This leaves YSCC and Yaita yet to get off the mark at the foot of the table.

29 Apr 07 - Tomohiro Saika, interviewed after scoring twice for Machida Zelvia

Tomohiro Saika, interviewed after scoring twice for Machida Zelvia

Sun 29 Apr: Luminozo Sayama 1-0 Toshiba Fuchu
Sun 29 Apr: Saitama SC 1-5 FC Machida Zelvia
Sun 29 Apr: Yaita SC 0-6 Hitachi Tochigi Uva
Sun 29 Apr: YSCC 1-2 Toho Titanium

1. FC Machida Zelvia 9 (+6)
2. Hitachi Tochigi Uva 6 (+8)
3. Toho Titanium 6 (+1)
4. Luminozo Sayama 6 (+1)
5. Saitama SC 6 (-)
6. Toshiba Fuchu 3 (-)
7. YSCC 0 (-5)
8. Yaita SC 0 (-11)
Kansai League Division 2
Two teams lie joint top after three rounds of the Kansai League Division 2. Maintaining their 100% records are promoted team Hannan University - 6-0 winners on Saturday over Kohga School - and relegated Takada FC, who saw off Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe. But Kihoku Football Group remain stuck to the foot of the table after their 7-2 thrashing at Kyoto Shiko Club, while Hermano Osaka and Riseisha FC participated in a remarkable game that ended with them enjoying an equal share of ten goals.

Sat 28 Apr: Kohga School 0-6 Hannan University

Sun 29 Apr: Hermano Osaka 5-5 Riseisha FC
Sun 29 Apr: Kyoto Shiko Club 7-2 Kihoku Football Group
Sun 29 Apr: Takada FC 4-2 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe

1. Hannan University 9 (+11)
2. Takada FC 9 (+7)
3. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 6 (-)
4. Kyoto Shiko Club 4 (+1)
5. Hermano Osaka 4 (-)
6. Riseisha FC 1 (-2)
7. Kohga School 1 (-8)
8. Kihoku Football Group 0 (-9)
Kansai League Division 1
It was an altogether fantastic weekend for FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu at the top of the Kansai League Division 1. On Saturday they thrashed AS Laranja Kyoto 6-0 to move three points ahead of deadly rivals and title favourites Banditonce Kobe. But then the following day, Banditonce sensationally lost their game in hand 1-0 to Osaka's Ain Food. All of which means that Banditonce, Ain and FC Kyoto 1993 - 1-0 winners at FC Glaspo Kashiwara - are all level in second place with six points. In the final game of the weekend, Kobe FC 1970 notched up their first points of the season by beating Sanyo Electric Sumoto 3-1.

Sat 28 Apr: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 6-0 AS Laranja Kyoto

Sun 29 Apr: Banditonce Kobe 0-1 Ain Food
Sun 29 Apr: FC Glaspo Kashiwara 0-1 FC Kyoto 1993
Sun 29 Apr: Sanyo Electric Sumoto 1-3 Kobe FC 1970

1. FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 9 (+13)
2. Banditonce Kobe 6 (+8)
3. Ain Food 6 (-)
4. FC Kyoto 1993 6 (-3)
5. = Kobe FC 1970 3 (-1)
5. = Sanyo Electric Sumoto 3 (-1)
7. AS Laranja Kyoto 3 (-7)
8. FC Glaspo Kashiwara 0 (-9)
Hokushinetsu League Division 2
There are new leaders in the Hokushinetsu League Division 2, which is looking as if it may be one of the closest of the Regional Leagues in 2007. Saurcos Fukui, known until the close season as FC Kanazu and with an eye on a JFL and a J-League place, squeezed past Granscena Niigata 1-0 to move to the top at the expense of FC Antelope Shiojiri, who could only draw at Ohara School JaSRA.

Relegated side Teihens FC go third following a 2-1 win over Maruoka Phoenix and even CUPS Niigata are also in touch with the promotion race. Following defeats in their first two matches, the side promoted from the Prefectural Leagues looked outclassed at the higher level of football but have since steadied the ship and in round 4 beat poor Toyama Shinjo Club 4-2.

29 Apr 07 - A rather distant shot of Granscena Niigata and Saurcos Fukui

A rather distant shot of Granscena Niigata and Saurcos Fukui

Sun 29 Apr: Ohara School JaSRA 1-1 FC Antelope Shiojiri
Sun 29 Apr: Saurcos Fukui 1-0 Granscena Niigata
Sun 29 Apr: Teihens FC 2-1 Maruoka Phoenix
Sun 29 Apr: Toyama Shinjo Club 2-4 CUPS Niigata

1. Saurcos Fukui 9 (+5)
2. FC Antelope Shiojiri 8 (+2)
3. Teihens FC 7 (+6)
4. Maruoka Phoenix 6 (+2)
5. Granscena Niigata 6 (+2)
6. CUPS Niigata 6 (-3)
7. Ohara School JaSRA 4 (-2)
8. Toyama Shinjo Club 0 (-12)

29 Apr 07 - FC Antelope put away a penalty against Ohara School

FC Antelope put away a penalty against Ohara School
Hokushinetsu League Division 1
AC Nagano Parceiro's Yuichi Yoda was the goal hero in Sunday's big match in Division 1 of the Hokushinetsu League. The 29-year-old striker scored with seventeen minutes to go to claim a crucial three points and a win over local rivals Matsumoto Yamaga Club, in a top-of-the-table encounter watched by 6399 fans at Matsumoto's Alwin Stadium. This result leaves Nagano three points ahead of Yamaga, Japan Soccer College and Zweigen Kanazawa, the latter two of whom met in Niigata, with JSC running out 2-1 winners in a close game.

Ishikawa's Fervorosa are now occupying their familiar mid-table position in spite of the investments in their squad made by club management during the close season. But following on from consecutive defeats in the first two games of the year, they have now won two on the trot after a comfortable 3-0 victory over struggling promoted side Valiente Toyama. It's Valiente who slip to the bottom of the table thanks to their nearest rivals Niigata University of Management and FC Ueda Gentian picking up a point apiece from a 2-2 draw.

29 Apr 07 - Zweigen Kanazawa before their defeat to JSC

Zweigen Kanazawa before their defeat to JSC

Sun 29 Apr: Japan Soccer College 2-1 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sun 29 Apr: Matsumoto Yamaga Club 0-1 AC Nagano Parceiro
Sun 29 Apr: Niigata University of Management 2-2 FC Ueda Gentian
Sun 29 Apr: Valiente Toyama 0-3 Fervorosa

1. AC Nagano Parceiro 12 (+13)
2. Matsumoto Yamaga Club 9 (+11)
3. Japan Soccer College 9 (+8)
4. Zweigen Kanazawa 9 (+4)
5. Fervorosa 6 (+2)
6. Ueda Gentian 1 (-9)
7. Niigata University of Management 1 (-15)
8. Valiente Toyama 0 (-13)

29 Apr 07 - Nagano Parceiro celebrate their goal against Matsumoto Yamaga

Nagano Parceiro celebrate their goal against Matsumoto Yamaga
Chugoku League
It was all business as usual on derby day in the Chugoku League on Sunday. Leaders Fagiano Okayama scored five in the second half against neighbours JFE Steel Western Japan to stay top on goal difference from Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku and FC Central Chugoku.
Sagawa won the Hiroshima derby against newly-promoted Mazda SC 5-0, although FC Central somewhat scraped to a 2-1 win over Hiroshima Fujita SC. In Yamaguchi, Renofa Yamaguchi claimed their first victory of 2007 by beating lowly Hitachi Manfacturing Kasado 3-2, but the league title is already looking like a three-way battle as expected.

29 Apr 07 - FC Central Chugoku on the attack against Hiroshima Fujita SC

FC Central Chugoku on the attack against Hiroshima Fujita

Sun 29 Apr: Fagiano Okayama 6-0 JFE Steel Western Japan
Sun 29 Apr: Hiroshima Fujita SC 1-2 FC Central Chugoku
Sun 29 Apr: Renofa Yamaguchi 3-2 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado
Sun 29 Apr: Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 5-0 Mazda SC

1. Fagiano Okayama 9 (+18)
2. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 9 (+12)
3. FC Central Chugoku 9 (+8)
4. Renofa Yamaguchi 4 (-2)
5. JFE Steel Western Japan 3 (-8)
6. Hiroshima Fujita SC 1 (-3)
7. Mazda SC 0 (-10)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 0 (-15)

29 Apr 07 - A big crowd at Momotaro Stadium for Fagiano Okayama vs JFE Steel

A big crowd at Momotaro Stadium for Fagiano Okayama vs JFE Steel
JFL Sunday Scores
It was a single goal fifteen minutes from time scored by ex-Kashiwa Reysol defender Kota Fukatsu that proved the difference between the two teams, as FC Gifu overcame Tochigi SC to win the vital early season top-of-the-table JFL clash on Sunday. This means that newcomers Gifu are now three points clear of Sagawa Kyubin SC, with seven wins and a draw from their opening eight fixtures, and are on course for promotion to J2 itself. Tochigi remain fifth - but also in the chasing pack, Yokogawa Musashino fell to a 1-0 defeat at Alo's Hokuriku, striker Kazuma Matsushita getting his name on the scoresheet.

The lower half of the division looks all set to be as closely fought as the promotion race. Just four points divides the bottom nine teams, Sony Sendai, Arte Takasaki and Sagawa Printing level at the foot of the table. They were overtaken by an FC Kariya side who cruised to a 3-0 win over TDK SC, star striker Tomohiro Kato netting twice in the first twenty minutes for the Aichi club. And it was also a good day for Okinawa's FC Ryukyu, who went a goal down in only the second minute to Mitsubishi Mizushima but came back early in the second half to win 2-1.

29 Apr 07 - Tochigi in yellow on the attack against Gifu

Tochigi in yellow on the attack against Gifu

Sun 29 Apr: Alo's Hokuriku 1-0 Yokogawa Musashino
Sun 29 Apr: FC Kariya 3-0 TDK SC
Sun 29 Apr: FC Ryukyu 2-1 Mitsubishi Mizushima
Sun 29 Apr: Tochigi SC 0-1 FC Gifu

1. FC Gifu 22 (+9)
2. Sagawa Kyubin SC 19 (+15)
3. Rosso Kumamoto 18 (+9)
4. Yokogawa Musashino 17 (+10)
5. Tochigi SC 17 (+9)
6. YKK AP 17 (+5)
7. Alo's Hokuriku 16 (+4)
8. Honda FC 11 (+2)
9. JEF Reserves 11 (+1)
10. FC Ryukyu 8 (-10)
11. Ryutsu Keizai University 7 (-4)
12. Mitsubishi Mizushima 7 (-5)
13. TDK SC 7 (-6)
14. FC Kariya 6 (-4)
15. Gainare Tottori 6 (-6)
16. Sony Sendai 4 (-10)
17. Arte Takasaki 4 (-10)
18. Sagawa Printing 4 (-11)

29 Apr 07 - Aerial excitement from Gainare Tottori vs Sagawa Kyubin

Aerial excitement from Gainare Tottori vs Sagawa Kyubin
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